Novak Djokovic becomes world no. 1 without playing
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 10759
Novak Djokovic will start his 381st week as world no. 1 on Monday. Novak missed Indian Wells and Miami due to his vaccination status but will still enter Monte Carlo as the world's leading player. Carlos Alcaraz passed Djokovic following his third Masters 1000 crown in Indian Wells.
However, a teenager had to defend his last year's Miami Open trophy to keep 1000 ATP points and stay in front of the Serb ahead of the clay season. Carlos played well in the opening four matches to enter the semi-final, losing to Jannik Sinner after three hours to step down from the throne.
Djokovic and Alcaraz will fight for the no. 1 spot in Monte Carlo and determine the men's tennis leading figure if they meet in the title clash. Alcaraz finished the previous season at the top, becoming the youngest year-end no.
1 player in ATP history. Djokovic regained the ATP throne following his tenth Australian Open title, with Alcaraz missing three months due to injuries.
Novak Djokovic will start his 381st week as world no. 1 on Monday.
The Spaniard returned to action in February, winning Buenos Aires and losing the final in Rio de Janeiro.
Novak could not play in March, and Carlos took charge and claimed the Indian Wells title to start his second reign as world no. 1. It lasted for two weeks, though, as he failed to defend the Miami Open crown. Alcaraz was a player to beat following four commanding victories in straight sets.
However, he met Jannik Sinner for the second time in two weeks and experienced a 6-7, 6-4, 6-2 loss to give Djokovic the ATP throne. Carlos and Jannik played another memorable match, and the Spaniard had his chances to prevail and reach the final.
Carlos served at 55% and failed to match his pace from the previous 'Sunshine Double' encounters. He lost serve six times and delivered three breaks from 12 opportunities, which was insufficient to chase victory. Jannik built a massive advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes, firing almost 40 service winners and keeping the upper hand with the first groundstroke.
Carlos failed to follow that pace, missing his chances in the second set's closing stages and fading from the court after that to experience the second loss of the season. The Spaniard came from 4-1 down in the opener and stole it in the tie break.
Carlos led 4-3 in set number two and had two break points in game eight that could have pushed him closer to the top. He squandered them and dropped nine of the final 11 games to propel the rival over the top.